The Year After Graduation

After graduating from SCAD about a year ago, I've dealt with the ups and downs of adjusting to the "Real World." Words can not express how difficult this time has been. On the inverse, I'm slowly learning how to extract the positives from the negatives. I could use this post to cry and complain about the struggle but what good would that do (plus I've already done that).  I believe it's more important to share the issues I've faced and what I've learned from them.

Just like every eager college graduate, I had my business cards printed, polished my resume, tweaked my cover letters, fine tuned my website and ironed my most flattering job interviewing outfit. I set my job sights REALLY high.  I applied to all kinds of positions all over the country: character design and storyboarding , graphic design, internships and even fitness training positions.  JOBS... JOBS... JOBS... With almost a year filled with, "Thank you for applying but we chose another candidate," depression, stress and anxiety began to rear their ugly heads.  I've only been unhappy about a few things in my life but this post graduation adjustment hit me really hard.  REALLY... REALLY hard. I remember feeling like I didn't deserve to do the things that made me happy. I convinced myself those things were a waste of time and I should be grinding ALL of time.  It's important to note how hard it is to focus and stay motivated when you are submerged in depression, self-doubt, and uncertainty. On top of all of this, my personal and social life were suffering.

So, you may ask, "Anthony, how did you get out of this?"

Honestly, I'm still working through it.  I've taken a few steps back. Through this trying time, I've learned a lot about myself and what is important to me. There is a new Anthony on the horizon. I've learned:

  • How important God is in my life
  • How much I dislike drawing comics (but love reading them)
  • How much I enjoy drawing storyboards and character designs
  • There is no "right" path. Only the path that is destined and designed for you
  • Life is a roller coaster NOT a constant incline to success
  • To make time for the activities I enjoy
  • To believe in myself, my worth, and my abilities
  • Not to think so much
  • To surround myself with people who love and care about me

For my follow Creators:

  • DO NOT work for free... AT ALL (it's not worth the stress... Trust me)
  • Fill your portfolio with the material you would love to do as a career
  • Make time to perfect your craft and learn something new
  • Find new ways to show off your work
  • Make time to create and FINISH your personal projects (should place in your portfolio)
  • If you are looking for a job, try your best to find a job that will get you closer to your overall goal.
  • Reach out to professionals who you can assist you with your portfolio

Yes, life can be hard and unpredictable.  It can also be a teacher. Learning how to take lemons and make lemonade can be extremely difficult. But, when you take that first sip of the lemonade, the rest is just as sweet! Yep, sweet as the job offer I received from Lockton to be a Graphic Designer.

I want to end on this note. I made a promise to myself.  That promise is to use my visual storytelling skills to express myself.  I have a few very interesting concepts I want to share with you guys. Be on the look out for my concept design and storyboards for my project titled: August 9, 2014.

I hope this post finds it's way to those who need it most.

Stay tuned for future posts!